Suspect in deadly crash pleads not guilty

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Holden Jeffrey Melton. (Photo: Roane County Sheriff’s Office)

KINGSTON, Tenn. (WATE) — The suspect in a deadly crash pleaded not guilty to several charges Monday after a May 2019 drag race claimed the life of two teens.

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Holden Melton, 19, of Wartburg is facing multiple charges including vehicular homicide by drag racing and vehicular homicide by reckless driving.

The two teens killed in the crash, 18-year-old Austin French and 16-year-old Joshua Freels, both had been riding in the car with Melton at the time. The crash happened along Orchard Valley Drive in Harriman.

Melton did not appear in court on Monday, but his attorney did submit a waiver of appearance where he pleaded not guilty and a status hearing was set for July 17.

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